Opinion on buying G5

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jscheiman, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. jscheiman macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Hi everyone. I'm new to the forums and this is my first post. I have been a member of the Apple 'cult' for over 4 years now, switching to Mac by purchasing a 15" Ti PB 3 1/2 years ago.

    Thanks to my graphic designer job, I've always worked on Apple desktops and am looking to purchase my first Apple tower. My current PowerBook is a 667MHz with 1GB RAM and has been an awesome machine since day one. I have reached a point however that I need a more current machine, a powerhouse. I've had my eye on the G5 towers since they were introduced, but until now, couldn't find a way to fork over such a large sum of money.

    As a graphic designer, I use my machine heavily in Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and GoLive, a lot of audio & video editing as well as large scale print jobs such as event banners and vehicle wraps. I am confident a new G5 would surely take care of business that my 'lil PB is now beginning to struggle with.

    Now the dilemma. Tiger is rumored to be released in the next month or so and curiosity is at a fever pitch as to what the next PM G5's will be. So, is it worth it to purchase a new G5 now or wait to see if Apple has something big wrapped up under thier sleeve come June? I am looking at the 2.0 or 2.5GHz model. I'm also very interested in being one of the first to get a hold of Tiger when it's released.

    Even if I should somehow desperatly wait to see if a new G5 is revealed in June, how long might the back orders be? I mean if they come out in June will I be waiting until October to actually physically get one?

    I guess I'm at a pretty big crossroad here with some major money on the line. Is it worth the $3000-3500 on a 2.5GHz G5? My other idea is to get the 2.0 with the standard base video card NVidia 5200 Ultra and swap it out with either the NVidia 6800 GT or ATI Radeon 9800 mac pro as well as dumping in 2GB of RAM.

    Any help is appreciated!
  2. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    I would say now is a pretty bad time to buy a PowerMac. Even if you only wait a few weeks/months, you can get Tiger on it. If they still don't release a new lineup by the time Tiger is out, then you can decide.
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    It's a tricky one. If you can wait, I'd wait. But if you need it now, you won't be disappointed with a dual 2.5 by any means.

    Have in mind though, even if new dualies are announced in the next month (at best), it'll probably be AT LEAST 3 months until ANYONE actually gets one.
  4. jscheiman thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Well, it's taken me nearly a year to get all my funds together for this purchase and I have many personal and professional goals I'd like to achieve before years end that I'm not sure I can hold out until June, possibly even longer...now, if someting we're to be brought out next month, that might be doable!

    Is there a noticable difference between the 2.0 and 2.5? Does the liquid cooling in the 2.5 amount to a quiter machine or is the 2.0 pretty quite as well? The more I have looked into the two machines, I can get a pretty decent video card as well as more RAM by going with the 2.0 and using the amount of price differnce from a 2.5 to get some better upgrades.

    Here's what I've thought about doing:

    2.0 G5 - $2,499 base
    swap NVidia 5200 with ATI Radeo 9800 Mac Pro Special for $300
    add 2GB RAM from Crucial for $360

    Total $3,159

    as compared to:

    a base 2.5 that starts at $2,999. So for less than $200 I gain 2 GB memory and a great video card.

    Like I said however, if they come out with some news next month, that might be enought to change my mind and either hold out for a new model or get a discounted 2.5.
  5. dolphin842 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2004
    It all depends on how much you need it I suppose... or, to put in another way, how long your PB will hold out. If it's putting a noticeable dent in your productivity, all the better to upgrade sooner.

    There also the rumor that IBM's 970MP (aka dual-core G5) is lurking about, waiting to be implemented sometime this year. If I had the money to spend on a Power Mac, I'd sit tight until that technology comes to fruition (then again, I don't have a job, much less one that requires substantial hardware, so I'm sure there's the pressure to upgrade on your end).

    All in all though, I'd say tough it out a while longer. I'd bet the consensus of the folks here is that they'll be updated sometime between 'next tuesday' and WWDC (early June). Chalk up a few months for delivery, and you'd likely be waiting until late summer/early fall to get your hardware. And you'll get Tiger out of it as well.

    Or alternatively, you can wait the relatively short time until the update, and if the dual-core stuff doesn't come about, you can probably get one of the current models (new or refurb) for less money than they are now. And with the older models, there won't be a huge lag between announcement and delivery. As edesign says, the performance is there today, might as well wait a little bit and save a little cash.

    Hope this helps, for what it's worth. In the end we're all just looking in the crystal ball ;)

    EDIT: Ah, you replied while I was typing. Oh well... :)

    EDIT2: For some comparisons between the 2.5 and 2.0 you can head to this article: http://www.barefeats.com/g525.html
  6. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    I would consider the 9600 XT if you choose the Dual 2.0... it's a great card with passive cooling and a lot cheaper than a 9800 XT. $300 for that card is simply ridiculous.
  7. Manzana macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2004
    Orange County, CA
    Go with the 2.5, that's something you can never upgrade like video and ram. You're talking about a 25% MHz increase! per chip!
  8. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Try to hang in there a little longer IF you can.

    At least you'll know the full extent of your alternatives once we see
    the next release.

    It took you a long time to save up those MacDollars like most of us.

    If nothing spectacular happens, then you can always go for a RED TAG
    refurb G5 2.0 dually base price $2099 and build it to suite your needs.
  9. jscheiman thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I know I'll be able to hold on at least until mid April. By then we will have hopefully heard news about Tiger as well as possibly something on the PM G5s during NAB.

    So, if I would go with the 2.5, add 2GB RAM, which card would be best for the money? Would I consider upgrading to the 6800 Ultra for $450 or the 6800 GT that runs $500?

    Or go another direction? Which seems to be a better product, ATI or NVidia? I'd also like a card that doesn't take up the space of two PCI slots in case I feel like adding extras later.
  10. Rocksaurus macrumors 6502a


    Sep 14, 2003
    Bear in mind also that if Tiger's not out by April if you cave and buy a PM then, you can pick up Tiger when it comes out for 20 bucks w/ Apples up-to-date program or whatever... So don't hinge this purchase so much on Tiger as on PM upgrades
  11. freiheit macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2004
    If you can wait until at least mid April, I'd agree with others and say hold off to see if the Tiger rumors come true.

    If a 667MHz PB is still doing the job and only starting to seem feeble, then even a dual 2GHz is going to be a huge boost. The cost for the dual 2.5GHz might be difficult to stomach. Getting a better graphics card (especially for when Tiger comes out with CoreImage and CoreVideo) with the 2GHz model will probably make up for a good chunk of the CPU difference -- unless you can afford the better graphics card AND the 2.5GHz machine, which will look even better with Tiger).

    I can say with certainty that the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition is a pretty nice card. I don't do the kind of work you do with my Mac but I have seen some noticeable improvements over my G4's stock Radeon 9000 Pro. I'm expecting Tiger's Core* to make my G4 look a lot more like a G5. :)

    And of course, if you're printing huge banner type stuff, you can always use that 2GB of RAM. So again, unless you can afford the 2GB RAM _AND_ the 2.5GHz machine... and the 2GHz will still take up to 8GB if you decide you need to upgrade it again later...
  12. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    I would try and hold off as long as possible, or at least until April.

    The longer you can do without it, the cheaper and better your G5 will be when you get it. If I was in your position, I would try and hold off at least until July. If that's not feasible, then wait at least till it ships with Tiger.

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